Standard - Bant Control

18 38 19
4 24 8 24
  • Deck contains 7 invalid cards for this format: Settle the Wreckage (XLN) Glacial Fortress (XLN), Sunpetal Grove (XLN), Search for Azcanta // Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin (XLN), Hinterland Harbor (DOM), Teferi, Hero of Dominaria (DOM), Settle the Wreckage (XLN)
Main 60 cards (19 distinct)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (24)
Planeswalker (8)
Creature (4)
Land (24)
Side 15 cards (7 distinct)

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List modified. The write up will be updated to reflect the Tamiyo and Nissa inclusions.  Both are amazing. Tamiyo for search and recursion (infinite absorbs, etc.).  Nissa is a 5cmc that creates a 3/3 haster with vigilance and “tap this creature for GG”. The next turn it makes another, and if it’s not answered for three turns you win the game (we run 8 Forests by way of dual lands).  The current write-up is for an earlier version and has not yet been modified.



Bant Control is a permission-based deck suited for players who enjoy options, combos, and of course control. The cards in this list have numerous synergies and mid-to-late game can often feel like you are playing a combo deck. [[Wilderness Reclamation]] and [[Search for Azcanta]] is one such combo. By putting a "STOP" on your end phase, you can trigger [[Search for Azcanta]] multiple times, per turn. This is further increased by [[Teferi, Hero of Dominaria]]. We play [[Spark Double]] for its incredible synergy with Planeswalkers, as it comes into play as a NON-LEGENDARY copy. [[Gideon Blackblade]] is being tested right now, and its utility has so-far proven to be very effective (though this slot may change)). Teferi Jr. or [[Teferi, Time Raveler]] is fantastic against control match-ups, and can also provide you a little breathing room in faster matchups. Lastly, [[Spark Double]] synergizes very nicely with [[Shalai, Voice of Plenty]] by providing you, your planeswalkers, and your creatures with hexproof.

{{Wilderness Reclamation}} + {{Search for Azcanta}} + {{Teferi, Hero of Dominaria}}
[[Wilderness Reclamation]] + [[Search for Azcanta]] + [[Teferi, Hero of Dominaria]] Once you have a transformed [[Search for Azcanta]] and [[Wilderness Reclamation]] out it’s important to do the following - especially if you have two [[Wilderness Reclamation]] on the board. First, place a stop on your end steps (the last two phases of your turn to be safe) and keep enough mana to use [[Search for Azcanta]] (assuming you don't have a main phase play). Next, on your end step, tap [[Search for Azcanta]] using it's ability. This will place it on the stack before [[Wilderness Reclamation]] resolves. Pick your card, hit resolve and let [[Wilderness Reclamation]] resolve. Repeat for multiple [[Wilderness Reclamation]] . If you also have a [[Teferi, Hero of Dominaria]] out and have used the +1 ability, the same concept applies. This synergy generates you a tremendous advantage against your opponents. NOTE that you should be keeping mana open for your opponents turn. Use your last casting of [[Search for Azcanta]] on your opponents turn - essentially, you want to save one “search” to cast in response to an opponents spell or at the end of their turn as they will see which card you took selected. Also, its probably a good habit to just always place a stop on your opponent's end step. 
{{Settle the Wreckage}}
[[Settle the Wreckage]] as a 3-of provides a solid answer to creature based decks, and is integral to the gate matchup as well. One of the few ways to get rid of [[Gate Colossus]]. If you cheap out and run less than three you will get run over in the aggro match-ups.
{{Ixalan's Binding}}
[[Ixalan's Binding]] is fantastic in this meta. A single resolved [[Ixalan's Binding]] can shut down so many decks that are currently played at top levels. Also provides removal of a lot of cards that this deck is weak to, such as [[Rhythm of the Wild]]. Many popular decks that are currently played at high ranking use only a few win condititions, and a single [[Ixalan's Binding]] can often win you the game on the spot.
{{Wilderness Reclamation}}
With no “x”-costed cards, [[Wilderness Reclamation]] might seem like an unconvential inclusion. However,  playing this four-cost enchantment allows you to abuse search for [[Search for Azcanta]], safely play cards on you main phase while keeping mana for counter spells, and provides immense pressure upon your opponent as a bluff-tool. 
In my opinion, [[Warrant]] is one of the most underplayed and undervalued cards that was recently released; [[Warrant]] provides early game control against aggro while concomitantly functioning as a late game kill condition. Another oft overlooked benefit is the ability to return a creature to the top of the deck. Use this on an opponents attacker to lock-out your opponent’s next draw, or cast it on your own attacking [[Frilled Mystic]] / [[Hydroid Krasis]] to guarantee a clutch top-deck for yourself.
{{Growth Spiral}}
[[Growth Spiral]] allows you to play [[Wilderness Reclamation]] on turn 3, [[Settle the Wreckage]] on turn 3, [[Teferi, Hero of Dominaria]] on turn 4, etc. Alleviate wrong-color hands, dump extra mana. Early game, if playing against a deck with blue-mana, consider playing [[Growth Spiral]] on your turn to avoid being spell pierced. An early game [[Growth Spiral]] (or [[Search for Azcanta]]) needs to make it onto the board. This is how you ensure that you have enough mana to hit spells on curve.

24 LANDS (why not more??)
I see a lot of information saying that a deck needs to run 26 lands to effectively use [[Growth spiral]].  With 26 or even 25 lands I found myself flooded too often. Twenty-four lands, in my practice, has been the sweet spot for consistently hitting your four-mana-by-turn-four requirement. Keep in mind that [[Growth Spiral]] and [[Search for Azcanta]] are what allows our land count to stay low. However, if you are without the wildcards for [[Search for Azcanta]] or [[Growth Spiral]] stick to 26 lands (two more islands to provide turn 3 counterspell consistency).
A two-land hand with one blue source is better than a three-land hand with no blue sources.
I have a positive win rate against every matchup in the meta with this deck. Understandably, though, some can be tough.
Mono White Lifegain:
{{Ajani's Pridemate}}
[[Ixalan's Binding]] and [[Warrant]] will win you games. Remember that [[Warrant]] will cause the card you target to go to the top of their deck. Use it on an [[Ajani's Pridemate]] and it loses its counters and clogs their next draw. Aggro decks typically play fewer lands, so [[Warrant]] can cause your opponents mana issues in a lot of games. Don't burn all your mana once you have [[Wilderness Reclamation]] / [[Teferi, Hero of Dominaria]] down- keep mana open to counterspell your opponent's [[Ixalan's Binding]].
Boros Aggro:
{{Heroic Reinforcements}}
Watch out for [[Heroic Reinforcements]] by floating enough counterspell mana. Try and keep your life out of [[Banefire]] range. Otherwise, this is similar to the Mono White Lifegain matchup.
Mono Red Aggro:
{{Runaway Steam-Kin}}
[[Warrant]] again. Sometimes its ok to use a [[Settle the Wreckage]] against a single creature if you're preventing spectacle activation ([[Light up the Stage]] or [[Skewer the Critics]]. If you need to, use [[Absorb]] on one of your own spells to gain a little extra life in a pinch. Though favorable due to our life gain, our [[Settle the Wreckage]] and/or [[Warrant]], this is the least favored matchup, ometimes your opponent will win by turn four and you will not have drawn a [[Warrant]] or an [[Absorb]].
{{Guild Summit}}
Float mana to counterspell [[Guild Summit]]. [[Ixalan's Binding]] priority number one is [[Guild Summit]], next is [[Gatebreaker Ram]], and last is [[Gate Colossus]]. Be mindful of [[Banefire]], and keep your lifetotal above your opponent's mana total.
Mono Blue:
{{Siren Stormtamer}}
[[Warrant]] on a creature with [[Curious Obsession]] hurts your opponent. [[Frilled Mystic]] is great in this matchup because it can't be countered with [[Negate]] or [[Spell Pierce]]. Get it out early and start swinging. Be wary of [[Siren Stormtamer]] and target that as a priority over every other card. Float mana so you can counterspell their counterspell. This is your second toughest matchup after mono red, though you are still favored due to the amount of counterspells you run and your [[Wilderness Reclamation]].
Sultai Control:
{{Wilderness Reclamation}}
Counterspell their [[Wilderness Reclamation]]. If your opponent lands a [[Wilderness Reclamation]], this is going to be a long game. You run more counters, and instead of [[Vraska's Contempt]] you have a [[Ixalan's Binding]]. You have [[Teferi, Hero of Dominaria]], which will put you at an edge over this matchup.
Esper Control:
{{Thought Erasure}}
Keep your mana open for counters. This is a slow but easy matchup. [[Wilderness Reclamation]] + [[Search for Azcanta]] allows you to out-value your opponents here. You want to be the second to drop [[Teferi, Hero of Dominaria]] if you have no other removal so that you can use the -3 ability.
{{Wilderness Reclamation}}
First one to resolve [[Wilderness Reclamation]] wins. Play it slow and safe.
{{Nexus of Fate}}
This isn't going to be in Bo1, but if you're piloting the deck in Bo3 sideboard in [[Devious Cover-Up]].


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Why are there 2 versions of this deck?
This deck is very fun and very hard to deal with. I'm having a lot of fun with the new WAR inclusions as well.
Hey Jamoke, really liked to play your previous Bant deck and now looking forward to climb the ladder again with your new deck. :-)
Last Updated: 24 May 2019
Created: 27 Apr 2019
9800 1113 4

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